The winter season is known for crackling fires, snowman building, and, of course, winter sports. While all of these things might give you a hankering for that first snowfall, what many people don’t realize is that the powder season is also popularly known for something else: injuries.
In 2014 it was reported that there were more than 114,000 skiing injuries, and more than 79,000 snowboarding injuries, not counting those athletes who tended to their injuries on their own. Skiing and snowboarding tend to have some of the worst winter sport injuries because of their speed and difficulty. Many other winter sports are also very demanding on the body, and injury is common whether you’re skating on a rink or snowmobiling through a field.
If you’re going to be partaking in winter sports this coming powder season, there are a variety of preventative measures that you can take to ensure a safe and heathy season. The following are 4 braces that can help you protect your body during winter sports:
1. Ossur CTi Custom Knee Brace
Damages to the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) are two of the most common injuries in skiing and snowboarding. These injuries are usually sustained because of the skis and snowboard holding the lower body in place while the momentum of the movement pulls the rest of the body forward. Slight strains and full tears can be a result of not knowing how to properly stop or change direction.
This movement is also common in sports such as skating and cross country skiing. To help avoid this kind of injury, a prophylactic knee brace such as the Ossur CTi Custom Knee Brace offers increased protection of the knee ligaments.
CTi braces provide stabilization and support to help alleviate some of the pressure put on the joint when the body is out of balance. The pressure is distributed more evenly throughout the lower limb, and the knee is kept in better alignment to avoid tears.
2. EVS SB05 Shoulder Brace
Another one of the common areas for injury in winter sports occurs in the shoulder region. It is common for individuals to try to brace for a fall using their arms and wrists, which commonly results in sprains and strains to the shoulder region. While this kind of injury isn’t quite as severe as a tear, it can be difficult to shake if not properly taken care of.
For those athletes who can’t wait to get back out on the slopes or ice, the EVS SB05 Shoulder Brace helps to decrease shoulder pain, stabilize the shoulder, and improve protection of the area. The brace is designed with an adjustable arm closure that helps to prevent chaffing and is made of a breathable mesh construction so individuals can still perform comfortably.
3. Bio Skin Thumb Spica Brace
For skiers, snowboarders, and skaters, falling is a very common way to injure the wrist and thumbs. Because the lower limbs are stationary in bindings or skates, the first reaction is usually to hold out the arms to brace for the fall. An added problem for skiers is that they may also become injured from holding the poles improperly as they fall. As a result, another common injury in powder season occurs in the thumb.
To support this injury, the Bio Skin Thumb Spica Brace restricts motion in the thumb MP joint, located at the base of the thumb and the hand. This helps to stabilize the injured area, and decrease pain and prevent further injury. This is a good brace for individuals who are beginning a new sport, and who may be falling more frequently, or for those who haven’t mastered the proper way to fall safely.
4. MedSpec ASO Wrist Lacer Wrist Brace
As mentioned above, poor falling techniques can cause serious strains and sprains in the thumb and wrist area for winter sports athletes. Whether it’s on the ice, fields, or slopes, athletes can better protect themselves during the powder season with a protective wrist brace like the MedSpec ASO Wrist Lacer Wrist Brace.
This simple brace can help to protect the wrist joint during falls, while also maintaining the flexibility needed to perform. Individuals who tend to fall often, or who have weak wrists or carpal tunnel, may also benefit from wearing this wrist brace to reduce pain and offer maximum support.
As the powder season gets closer, it’s important for those partaking in winter sports to be serious about their health and safety before they hit the slopes. Not only does practicing injury prevention help you, but it can also create a safer environment for others around you.
To prevent common injuries in winter sports, consider the braces suggested above and consider these winter sport safety tips to be better prepared for the snowy season.